There are many great restaurants in the Miracle Mile/Mid Wilshire area, but there is an unfortunate shortage of sit-down Mexican food. For this reason I was delighted to discover Candela Taco Bar, an intimate bar and restaurant on La Brea between Wilshire and Olympic with wood tables and friendly folk. There are many tasty items on their menu, but I almost always order the Taco Tour- four tacos of your choice with rice and beans for $12. An endless supply of chips and salsa and a margarita or two helps it go down beautifully. There are meat, veggie and seafood selections to serve any discriminating palette, and it’s all rich and filling- enough to serve a hearty appetite but not so much that you end up feeling bloated for days.
A few tips- if you get there right at 7 p.m. when the parking restrictions end on La Brea, it’s easy to find a spot. Show up even 15 minutes later and you won’t be so lucky, and you’ll probably be forced to use the overworked (albeit reasonably priced) valet. Also, Wednesday is $1 taco night- that’s both the good news and the bad news as it’s a great deal, but your meal won’t be relaxing- the place’ll be packed to the rafters. Tuesdays, when you can buy one entree and get the second for half off, is a better bet. The margaritas are hearty, the service is friendly, and for good measure they’re attached to Leonardo’s Nightclub, just the place to burn off that meal by salsa dancing the night away.